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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

August 13, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-026
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-026
The Expedition 9 crew aboard the International Space Station prepared this week to receive another shipment of supplies. The crew also worked on several science experiments and routine maintenance of Station systems.

A Russian Progress cargo craft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:03 a.m. EDT Wednesday and is due to dock to the aft docking port of the Zvezda module at 1:02 a.m. EDT Saturday. NASA Television will broadcast the docking live, with coverage beginning at midnight EDT.

Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke prepared for the arrival of the craft by clearing room for the new supplies and setting up video cameras to monitor its arrival. Padalka also trained on the use of the Russian telerobotically operated docking system he would use to manually dock the Progress in the unlikely event the automated system is not available.

During the Station's orbits above the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea the crewmembers took photographs of Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley, while video cameras on the exterior of the Destiny laboratory module documented the storms' development. Crew Earth Observations began onboard the Space Station in November 2000 to record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. So far, the Expedition 9 crew has taken more than 10,000 photographs for researchers worldwide.

Other science activities included the ADUM experiment -- Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity. Fincke set up the equipment, and then he and Padalka performed the ultrasound bone scans on each other by taking turns as operator and subject. The bone scans were taken of the subject's knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder, monitored remotely from the ground. This will gather more data about what ultrasound exams of healthy crewmembers look like while in microgravity. The work is also verifying techniques developed for minimally trained people to conduct the exams with the help from doctors in remote places, such as Mission Control, Houston, in this instance.

The crew worked with a Russian experiment studying plasma-dust crystals and another studying changes in body mass while in space. The crew also filled out dietary logs for the U.S. BIOPSY experiment. BIOPSY studies the effects of long-duration space flight on human skeletal muscle. Crewmembers are recording their food consumption for the experiment and biopsies were taken from their calf and foot-flexing muscles before launch. Similar biopsies will be taken again immediately when they return to Earth.

On Monday, both crewmembers answered questions on camera from students at the Waimea Middle School in Kamuela, Hawaii, with about 550 educators and students in attendance. On Tuesday, Fincke contacted students at Good Shepherd School and St. Paul's Catholic School in Decherd, Tenn., through the amateur radio system onboard.

Regular maintenance was conducted on the ventilation system and periodic environmental samples were collected. The crew also participated in a Soyuz emergency-evacuation drill.

More information on the Progress spacecraft arriving at the Station tonight is available from the Russian Federal Space Agency at:

Information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, are available on the Internet at:

Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:

The next ISS status report will be issued from NASA's Johnson Space Center on Saturday, August 14, or earlier, if events warrant. It will be available at:


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